Tag Archives: Sonic Youth

Top 100 Albums of 2000 (100-81)

Finally the countdown begins.  Get in touch with us if you want to know where to get ahold of the album legally.  Again, an asterisk next to the album’s title signifies Android50’s approval.  – Songssuck

2000: the year I really began paying attention to music not heard every day on the radio.  This should be fun.  – Ho Chi Unser Jr.


100.  Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour of the Bewilderbeast *

I checked out this album because of Damon Gough’s soundtrack to the movie, About A Boy. Whether you like this album as well as the music to that movie depends on your tolerance for eccentric self-indulgence and experimentally laced White Album length pop album. – Kid Kilowatt

99.  Death Cab for Cutie – We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes

The first band on this list I checked out because of Built to Spill comparisons.  Even though they are probably now the biggest/most popular of the Pacific Northwest bands, they have never gotten that many plays at my crib, they’re usually too mopey and depressing.  But this is their best album, it has some great songs and if you’re in the mood it hits the spot. – Songssuck

98.  Go-Betweens – The Friends of Rachel Worth

I’m not that cool, so this was the first Go-Betweens album I heard.  I had read about how great their 80’s output was, but had never dived in to find out for myself.  Actually, it was hearing that Elliot Smith, Sam Coomes and the ladies from Sleater-Kinney were the backing band that made me check it out.  I was at first disappointed as it was only on 3 songs I could tell S-K was involved, the riffs on “The Clock” and “German Farmhouse” were clearly S-K’s doing, and Corin Tucker sings on “Going Blind” even though she is so subdued one cannot tell it is her.  It was the Australian duo’s first album after disbanding in 1989, so it should have been a disaster, but these two clearly know their way around a pop song. — Pthestudp

97.  Burmese – Monkeys Tear Man to Shreds, Man Never Forgives Ape, Man Destroys Environment

Literally probably the aural equivalent of the album’s title.  Two basses, no guitar create some intense noise with lots of low end crushing with spastic drumming. – Dr. Anonymous

96.  Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump *

I remember buying this album based solely on comparisons to the Flaming Lips and Radiohead.  I could never hear the Radiohead, but listening to it now it does remind me of the Lips a bit. – Kid Kilowatt

95. Eels – Daisies of the Galaxy *

The Eels’ Daisies of the Galaxy is an album you put on to lay back, chill and drink an ice cold beer.  This album has attitude, despite being the Eels’ softest album.  The attitude can be summed up with the chorus of the closing track: “Goddamn right, it’s a beautiful day.”  Mark E’s vocals and overall simplistic style make this album worthy of any music lover’s collection. Mondo Topless

94.  Mouse on Mars – Niun Niggung

Oftentimes when an artist releases an album that has a lighter, happier feel than their previous works, it is dismissed as a lesser or somehow trivial work.  (I’ve often said that Radiohead only need to release a “party” album to get horrible reviews).  For some reason, playful and fun albums are seldom considered as significant; when is the last time one heard one described as “timeless?”  So even though Niun Niggung probably isn’t as good as Iaora Tahiti or Idiology it is not because of its bouncy playfulness and it is worthy to sit along side them in the Mouse on Mars canon. – Suzy Cream Cheese

93.  Two Lone Swordsmen – Tiny Reminders

Small aide memoires?  More like bitch slaps to the face (delivered via fucked up electro, call it techno if you must). – Songssuck

92.  Sonic Youth – NYC Ghosts & Flowers

NYCG&F’s tribute to beat poetry, bohemian New York, and avant-garde noise was recorded shortly after all of Sonic Youth’s inimitable, custom-tweaked & tuned guitars were stolen.  Pretty much the redheaded stepchild of the SY discography (it was given an unwarranted ‘0.0” by Pitchfork). – Dr. Anonymous

91.  Idlewild – 100 Broken Windows *

Really these songs could be on any alternative/modern rock station.  But I keep coming back to it after all these years and I wasn’t even expecting to like this anymore when I listened to this again for this list.  But I did.  I’ve heard them compared to Nirvana and R.E.M. a lot, though I don’t hear it.  But something about it makes it impossible for me to describe so I’ll go with it.  It’s like Nickelback + Green Day with awesomer guitars and a better vocalists.  No one is going to want to hear it after that comparison. – Pthestudp

90.  Cave In – Jupiter

In high school all one had to say was “Slayer” to get my attention.3 So when I heard about this band who equaled an addition of Radiohead + Slayer (even though I am pretty sure all I knew about Radiohead was that “Creep” song) I had to check it out.  I fucken loved Until Your Heart Stops, and couldn’t wait for their next album.  What I got next was a shit sandwich: it was obvious to me that Jupiter was a full-scale sellout.  Soaring falsetto vocals, ornate poppy melodies fit for arenas, this shit was an obvious attempt to get on MTV (and I do believe I was right, after this they signed to a major label).  Revisiting it years later I began to like it, and now; 10 years later I can appreciate what they were trying to do (it’s called making money.  I cannot appreciate it as much as I appreciate their metal albums though). – Songssuck

89.  Zion I – Mind Over Matter

Old school loops and beats, but totally off kilter, smooth but hiccupping and rapid fire. But frankly, at 21 songs and almost 75 minutes this is a bit too much of a good thing, even if most of it is catchy and funky.  – Dr. Anonymous

88.  Damien Jurado – Ghost of David *

Sometime in 2003 I burnt Android50 a bunch of cd-rs.  He reviewed a lot of them.  Here is what he had to say about Ghost of David: “The first time I listened to this CD I almost cried… literally.  It was a rainy afternoon, had a rough day at school, and stuck this in on the way home.  Not bad… sniffle sniffle… pretty good stuff… sniffle sniffle… You’re SO right Damien!  His lyrics are great; they tell a story yet they still have that emotional edge that is sometimes lost in the narrative song.”  That’s Android50’s ’03 take and to that I would add, “it’s pretty folky and there are some really good songs.”  — Songssuck

87.  Giant Sand – Chore of Enchantment

Convertino and Burns of Calexico fame join Howe Gelb for his 10th or so album as Giant Sand.  The desert always attracts a certain type of person, and that explains where this music comes from.  It will be interesting to see where Songssuck ranks this one with Calexico’s offering from this year, but for my money I’ll take Chore of Enchantment. Add even more drugs to Neil Young’s more deserty albums or Meat Puppets’ II and one can begin to put their ears around this one.  Like tequila, an aquired taste. – Suzy Creamcheese

86.  Six Organs of Admittance – Dust and Chimes

Sunny and druggy, ragga influenced, vocal chants coming from some hallucinogenic otherworlderness.  John Fahey, Robbie Basho and early Tyrannosaurus Rex are all good reference points.  Ben Chasny is an amazing guitarist who also plays with Comets on Fire.  Should check it out if you are a fan of the acoustic guitar. – Willie Rambo Strider

85.  Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker*

Android50 and Suzy Creamcheese are the Ryan Adams fans of the BDWPS writers and the only Whiskeytown I own is a cd-r he gave me.  But I’d say this is his most country album and is overrated in my opinion.  Having said that, it has two of my all time favorite songs on it: “To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high)” and “Come Pick Me Up.”  I could talk shit on Ryan all day long (and used to) but it would be worthless when he is capable of writing two songs like that (in fact that is why I picked up this album, after finding out that song on the movie Old School was on this album).  I listened to “Come Pick Me Up” four times in a row first time I listened to this album and once more after the record was spinning. – Dr. Anonymous

84.  Eternal Elysium – Spiritualized D

Japanese doom band carrying the torch of earlier Japanese heavy psych bands, like Flower Travellin’ Band, Blues Creation, Speed Glue & Shinki, and Flied Egg.  – Ho Chi Unser Jr.

83.  Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out

Everyone who knows knows that YLT is one of my all time faves.  But I must say this album still throws me for a loop.  You see, this album is completely devoid (except for the excellent “Cherry Chapstick”) of distortion, noise and hard rocking anthems.  It is what I call their ‘wussy’ album.  I mean the songs are great, but they are all gentle lullabies.  We have heard songs like these before from these guys, but where is the diversity YLT are known for?  I realize that they were going for something else on this album, but it just doesn’t do it for me.  Still, a good album (and a critic’s favorite by the way), but I have a feeling it is one of the maybe three on this list my mother might like. – Songssuck

82.  Frogs – Racially Yours

Supposedly this album was finished in ’93, but no one would release it due to the controversial cover and lyrics.  If you are not familiar with the Frogs, they are two brothers from Milwaukee who had previously written It’s Only Right and Natural an album about being gay (by two straights).  Racially Yours is sung from different first person perspectives: a slave, a slave owner, a racist, a revolutionary minded black man, a slave trader, and other various characters.  The controversy over this album is overstated, it is an indictment of racism, anyone who cannot figure that out has their head way too far up their ass.  I understand if one thinks this album is too irreverent, offensive or absurd, but it is hard to actually listen and find it actually racist.  Whether this is insulting or thought provoking depends on one’s viewpoint.  The actual music is wonderful (although out of 25 songs there are some duds), real lo-fi, glammy, melodic, lush and fun.  The lyrics are not as funny as on past releases.  Pearl Jam, Kurt Cobain, Kim Deal, and The Smashing Pumpkins are all bands I remember championing them back in the day.  – Dr. Anonymous

81.  Boredoms – Vision Creation Newsun

How much you like this album will depend upon whether you like chaotic, spastic noise punk anthems Boredoms or cosmic hippie psychedelic trance Boredoms, Vision Creation Newsun being one of the latter.  Everyone choose sides. –Wille Rambo Strider

Boredoms?! Better than At the Drive-In “Relationship of Command”!? What a disgrace. – Android50


3 Some things never change.

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Top 50 Songs of 2009 (26-50)

50. Dutchess and the Duke
“Scorpio”


The harmonizing voices on this song perfectly capture the heartbreak of the narrator. Despite being near his lover, he still feels miles apart. A few weeks ago I was playing this song in my classroom during journal time, and one of my students commented that it sounded like something from “Juno”. I agreed, although I don’t remember Moldy Peaches ever sounding this damn beautiful.

49. NOFX
“Best God in Show”

Despite releasing a couple lackluster albums in the past few years, NOFX still have a gift for catching you off-guard. On the surface, “Best God in Show” is a happy-hippy jam, but when you get past the joyful ska riff and cheery organ, NOFX is once again questioning religion in a way that is both humorous and thought-provoking.

48. M. Ward
“Never Had Nobody Like You”

Once you get past the use of a double negative in the title, you will find M. Ward has written another hum-able gem that would fit perfectly alongside other classics on “Transfiguration of Vincent”. It’s just too bad he had to let Budweiser throw it into a comercial about guys hi-fiving…who okays these things and deems them as funny?

47. Jay-Z
“DOA (Death to Auto-Tune)

Jay-Z is the godfather of the rap world. When the Hova says auto-tune is dead, you better take notice. Like a modern-day Biz Markie, Jay-Z howls “Na, na, na, na! Hey, hey, hey! Goodbye!” off-key throughout the song, along with the use of live instrumentation, ranging from a squealing saxophone to a sultry guitar line. While most of the rap world has become a caricature of their former selves, Jay-Z continues to sing his own song, even if it is out of tune.

46. Bon Iver
“Woods”

Wait just one second Jay-Z…like a musical zombie, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon breathed new life into the auto-tuner with this captivating new approach to the played-out device. Somehow the old timey lyrics of “I’m building a still” work perfectly through the 21st century lens, sounding like a robotic barbershop quartet. And somehow, Vernon is still able to convey the loneliness and solitude of being alone in the woods.

45. Slayer
“Americon”

In a year where we got a glimpse of the stock market’s dirty under-belly and the corruption of American big business, it’s nice to see Slayer take a break from wreaking havoc on Christianity and focusing on the sick fucks who have preyed upon the middle class of this country for too long. There is something poetic about such an “evil” band taking on the true evil of this “land of deceit”.

44. Ty Segall
“Lovely One”

Ty Segall is often banging away at his guitar from start to finish, but on “Lovely One” he takes a break from his distortion pedal, starting off with a calming little guitar strum, eventually leading into the infectious chorus that would fit perfectly alongside The Animals and The Loving Spoonful on a classic oldies station.

43. Lightning Dust
“I Knew”

This song seems pressing despite the lack of a real drum track. The pulsing undertone continues from start to finish while the piano and organ truly take shape as percussion instruments, driving the two-minute romp through its existential path. How can something sound aged and cutting edge at the same time?

42. Pissed Jeans
“Goodbye (Hair)”

Historically, hardcore punk songs are about several defined topics: criticizing the government, criticizing the use of drugs/alcohol, or conveying how horrible it is to be a teenager. Pissed Jeans like to take a different stance. On past albums they’ve lamented the difficulties of being a stalker, the shame felt when cumming, and the perils of scrapbooking. On their 2009 release “King of Jeans” they even present the misery felt during the process of losing your hair:

I still can’t believe this is happening. I’m not fifty years old. I consider myself a young adult and want others to see me this way. If my looks deteriorate, it’ll wreak havoc on my self-esteem. Is that what I have to look forward to?

 Although humorous (and hitting a little close to home for a bald fella like myself) the song also conveys the anguish and frustration that is associated with growing old and losing your youth, one hair at a time.

41. Phoenix
“1901”

I know what you’re thinking: “How could he put this song so low on his list?!” Yes, I will admit that when I first heard this song during the spring, I played it endlessly. It’s catchy as hell and is even capable of getting a white boy like myself on his feet dancing (after a few beers mind you). Unfortunately, my love has turned to loathing due to the Cadillac ads played in heavy rotation during the commercial break of every football game. Despite this hatred, I still can’t deny what a great song it is, or was (don’t worry, Phoenix gets more cred on this list…)

40. The Love Language
“Lalita”

You’ve heard this song before, but in actuality you haven’t. Weird? That is the power of The Love Language my friends. Quit trying to remember where you heard it and just sit back and enjoy the tune you’ve never heard before but swear you have.

39. Morrissey
“Something’s Squeezing My Skull”

When Morrissey expresses that he is “doing fine”, you know he’s lying. Despite being an older gentleman, he still seems to be dealing with his demons, some of which take pleasure in squeezing his skull. Drugs? The perils of relationships? Insanity? Who cares really. At least musically Morrissey sounds better than ever, with a Gang of Four, angular riff and the closing chant of “Don’t give me anymore!” that you just can’t get enough of.

38. The Thermals
“Now We Can See”

The fact that you are hooked on this song within 10 seconds says it all.

37. Sonic Youth
“Thunderclaps for Pyn”

https://bobdylanwrotepropagandasongs.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/09-sonic_youth-thunderclap_for_bobby_pyn2.mp3

When I lived in Omaha I liked to go to the Old Country Buffet on barbeque night. I’d skip over the salad bar, the fried foods section, and even noodle salad row in search of one thing: BBQ ribs. I’d fill my plate with ribs, and ribs only. When all that remained was a plate with meat-less bones I’d go back for seconds, engulfing a pig’s entire rib cage by the end of my visit.  Sonic Youth’s “The Eternal” is much like a buffet line, featuring a wide range of Sonic sounds from over the years, ranging from the art noise of early days to the sparser atmospheres of recent albums. But, like a plate of short ribs, this past year I often found myself skipping over the other tunes in search of a nice earful of “Thunderclaps for Pyn”.  Yummy!

36. Lightning Bolt
“Sublime Freak”

How do you make a Lightning Bolt song more chaotic? Add bongos. But there is so much more going on in this song; there is actually a chorus! YES FOLKS! A CHORUS! And if you listen close enough, it almost sounds like a 1960s surfer tune. I can see the beach blanket gogo dancers now…

35. Japandroids
“The Boys are Leaving Town”

Sure, this song has sentimental value for me, reminding me of my road trip this past summer where Paul and I listened to this at the beginning of our trip and later saw the band perform in Boise, Idaho. But this song made its way on this list for more reasons than the memories associated with it. Simply put, it kicks ass. Being the anti-thesis to Cheap Trick’s “Boys are Back in Town”, Japandroids have taken the classic teenage angst of leaving town and given it a jolt with rolling, jumpy drum fills and passionate, lo-fi vocals.

34. Andrew Bird
“Fitz and the Dizzyspells”

Every interview/review I read about Andrew Bird’s 2009 release “Noble Beast” focused heavily on the album’s use of whistling. This is for good reason. Every song on the album features whistling at some point, an aspect that becomes annoying pretty quickly. Only on “Fitz and Dizzyspells” does Andrew find a happy medium between his violin and pierced lips, creating a joyful romp that begs you to put a smile on your face.

33. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
“Zero”

Karen O singing about leather? I’m sold.

32. Animal Collective
“Brother Sport”

In the past few years the tribal sounds of bands like MIA and El Guincho have become more and more popular.  How soon we forget that Animal Collective brought this sound to the forefront years ago.  On “Merriwether Post Pavillion” the boys finish the album off with “Brother Sport”, a tropical rumpus that works perfectly as a final track due to its celebratory tone. It also serves as a reminder that the Collective can still make you shake your ass off if they really want to.

31. Lou Barlow
“The One I Call”

I know, I know. I hate love songs too.  And I’ll admit, Lou Barlow’s “One I Call” would probably work great on a John Cusack chick flick.  But you can’t resist its earnest lyrics nor can you deny the comfort of the combination of Lou’s voice and his guitar. If I saw Lou on the street, I’d probably yell to him, “Great song Lou!” to which he’d glare at me in disgust (inside joke).

30. Blank Dogs
“Open/Shut”

Guided By Voices meets The Cure circa 1980s? Oh, what a sweet combination, like peanut butter and jelly.

29. Propagandhi
“Dear Coach’s Corner”

Propagandhi usually rage against racism, government, and of course the fact that “Meat is murder”.  But never before have I heard them write about such unique subjects as they do on “Supporting Caste”.  The best has to be “Dear Coach’s Corner”, a vial criticism of the Canadian hockey show “Coach’s Corner” (I guess with Bush out of office, their song material got cut in half). The ranting tune basically states an annoyance with announcers conveying their own agendas when in the end, it’s just a game. Shut the fuck up:

Dear Ron McLane, I wouldn’t bother with these questions
if I didn’t sense some spiritual connection.
We may not be the same, but it’s not like we’re from different planets.
We both love this game so much we can hardly fucking stand it. 

 There is something admirable in Propagandhi’s approach; no one is free from being criticized. Who wouldn’t like to hear a song ripping into Bill Walton, Bob Davie, or Joe Buck?

28. Jay Reatard
“Wounded”

Everything in this song has its function. The “lade-da-da” that starts the song leads into a sweet little acoustic guitar lick, jumping straight into Jay’s yelling anthem, and finally kicking into the fist pumping chorus. And then, when you think you’ve figured it all out, the song finishes off with a killer closer that would put “Hey Jude” to shame.  Jay Reatard is a master songwriter; it’s about time we all accept his God-liness.

27. Matt and Kim
“Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare”

Matt and Kim songs are so simple. A plinking piano over a pounding drum beat and Matt’s nasally whine. Yet, with only these few elements they are able to write irresistable pop hits. While “Daylight” may be considered their breakout hit in 2009, “Good Ol Fashion Nightmare” is just as charming and replay-able.

26. Beirut
“My Night With the Prostitute From Marseille”

When I heard Beirut was releasing a double CD (one disc of them performing with a mexican mariachi band and another of Zach Condon singing over electronic music), I expected the first CD to be the better of the two but was disappointed by his Mexican offering.  Instead, I fell in love with the second disc of five dance songs, devoid of trumpets and accordians.  While two of the songs are about hookers, “My Night With the Prostitute From Marseille” is the obvious stand-out of the album.

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